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Hunters Champions Are Crowned at the Tampa Equestrian Festival

Tampa, FL - April 1, 2008 - The first of the Championship awards were presented today at the Tournament of Champions, part of the Tampa Equestrian Festival, held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center.

A torrential rain overnight, complete with thunder and lightning, made the rings quite wet, but the water stayed on top, so while there was quite a bit of splashing, the traction in the ring was still very good.

In this third and final week of competition at the Tampa Equestrian Festival the Green Conformation Hunter Champion was Guess Again with Kelley Farmer riding for owner Larry Glefke, winning both over fences classes.

"He is one of my favorites," said Glefke. You can tell he's a nice horse - he won with me on him last week. Six months ago he couldn't steer and now at his third horse show he is really getting it together. I think he has lots of potential to be a great junior or amateur horse because he is so quiet. I had a chance to sell him and I am really glad that I decided to keep him."

Reserve Champion in the division was Russian Gold with Amanda Steege in the irons for owner Dr. John McGuire.

The Green Working Hunter division was a shoot out between The Specialist, yesterday's top place winner and Meant For Me who was today's first and second place finisher. By a narrow point margin, Meant For Me and Mary Lisa Leffler were named Champion in the division with Reserve Champion going to The Specialist with Jennifer Alfano.

Winning four out of five classes in the Regular Working Hunter division, Jersey Boy, owed by SBS Farms, and Jennifer Alfano were named Champion. Second place in every over fences class, Sam Adams and Mary Lisa Leffler, riding for owner Ashley Foster, were Reserve Champion.

The babies jumped around the final classes of their division, Pre Green Hunters 3 & 4 year olds. Champion in the division was Unmistakable ridden by Mary Eufemia for owner Dr. Paula Pell.

"He was so good and so brave," said Mary Eufemia. "He is truly a baby though. He is a little inconsistent. He can go in and jump three feet over the first fence and then knock down the next two. Maybe we will finish here and just turn him out and let him mature a bit."

Reserve Champion in the division went to Amazing T and Ann Louise Powers for owner Susan McGarry.

Next to finish up their competition and decide the point leaders were the numerous Pre-Green Working Hunters. Chance Encounter, owned by Holly Evans, and rider Mickie Sage walked away wearing the Champion tri-color ribbon.

"I saw the bags that they were giving as awards and I decided I needed to be Champion this week." said a laughing Sage. "The course designer put all the jumps in the right places for me today."

Reserve Champion in the division went to Kid Rock and Jennifer Alfano for owner Bright Star 158 LLC.

Competition in the Tournament of Champions continues through Saturday, April 5th. The Tampa Equestrian Festival runs from March 19-April 6, 2008. The highlight class for hunters at the Tampa Equestrian Festival is the $20,000 ASG Software Solutions USHJA International Hunter Derby. The class will host a "Tradition, Tailgate, Top Hat, and Tails" party and will be held on Sunday, April 6, at 1 p.m. at Wrenwood Farm in Naples, FL.

For more information on the Tampa Equestrian Festival, please visit http://www.stadiumjumping.com.

Photo Credit:. Guess Again and Kelley Farmer Green Conformation Hunter Champions. Photo (C) 2008 Violet Forbes/PMG. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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